Energy Security

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Reasons for global energy insecurity

  • growing population
  • finite fossil fuel reserves, oil & gas will only last at the current level for 45-60 yrs
  • demand for energy e.g. development
  • still have  coal but reducing the ise as its heavily polluting
  • sources are unevenly distributed with a lot of it in places of political stability e.g. Middle East
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Impacts of energy use

Fossil fuels

  • coal - releases CO2 & SO2 when burnt
  • oil & natural gas - CO2 released when burnt

Nuclear power

  • creates radioactive waste  & possible leaks, no GHG emissions


  • CO2 when burnt


  • No GHG emissions
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Factors affecting access & comsumption

  • availability of modern technology & infrastructure
  • affordability e.g. biomass such as animal dung may remain dominant in poor rural areas
  • distribution of energy resources (physical factors)
  • cultural preferences & public perceptions in different locations
  • climate and seasonal variations
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Physical factors affecting distributions

  • geology (mainly non-renewables, except impermeable rock needed to support surface water for HEP)
  • climate
  • soils
  • tectonics
  • waver power
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Environmental impacts of coal production

  • surface coal mining damages the environment
  • mountain top removal damages ecosystems
  • smoke & smog from subsurface mining can lead to respiratory illnesses
  • produce large waste of ash clouds
  • water intensive production
  • the growth of this energy source is meant to double using a lot of resources e.g. water
  • EXAMPLE: Mongolia, production has reduced the water table & lake by 62%
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Environmental impacts of oil production

  • piping used for extraction is made of metal which can corode into the water contaminating it
  • waste pits used for extraction are left unlined & can lead to contamination of land
  • flames from burning can lead to poor air quality
  • oil spills affect water & marine life
  • oil spills are decreasing
  • EXAMPLE: BP oil spills, 200mn gallons of crude oil pumped into the Gulf of Mexico, coastlines were affected, 8000 amimals died
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Environmental impacts of natural gas production

  • turbines require little water however need more for the cooling process
  • plants remove water from lakes so marine animals may die or be affected
  • pollutants & heat build up in the water
  • extraction can destroy natural habitats
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Envrionmental impacts of HEP production

  • dams block the migration of animals
  • can create sediment build up which can be needed down stream to help those habitats
  • have to flood floodplains
  • EXAMPLE: China, a dam broke due to high pressure killing 200,000 people
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Environmental impacts of wind power production

  • turbine is made up of steel & a rare resource which has to be mined (rare earths)
  • deforestation may take place to install the turbine
  • turbines can kill birds and bats
  • offshore turbines can affect marine life by increasing the population as the act as an artificial reef
  • lead to warming at night & cooling during the day
  • EXAMPLE: North America
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Environmental impacts of biomass production

  • deforestation for wood
  • reduced carbon sequestation capacity
  • a lot of water is wasted, similar amount to the local production
  • nitrogen oxide is released creating smog & respiratory diseases (impact from use)
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Environmental impacts of solar production

  • large projects can lead to high demand of land potentially deforestation & habitat loss
  • production of solar pannels need a lot of water for the cooling process
  • solar pannel cells include hazardous materials
  • no carbon emissions
  • silicon requires a lot of energy for manufacturing
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Energy poverty - in the UK

  • energy is mainly for heating & lighting
  • there are roughly 5mn rural households who are not connected to the mains gas network
  • most of these rely on liquified petroleum gas (LPG) for heating and cooling
  • many of these people have lower incomes or are pensioners/ elderly who cannot afford it
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Energy poverty - India

  • becoming one of the largest energy consumers
  • only a ssmall percentage have access to clean, effieient energy systems
  • 70% of the population live in rural areas where most of them burn hand-gathered solid fuels e.g. wood and dung for cooking
  • this is due to lack of jobs and the small incomes the jobs provide
  • lack of infrastructure
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CHINA - reasons for energy insecurity

  • more people buying cars which require energy to run & produce
  • energy needed for industries
  • rural - urban migration
  • dont have enough for domestic needs so have to import oil
  • new nucleatr power stations are being built to keep up with deman (require energy to run them)
  • due to Chinas economic growth, it requires more energy supplies to sustain it
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